Never been so poor in all my life

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Joe90
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19 Jul 2021, 7:39 am

Both me and my boyfriend have £0.00 in our banks and it's got to last us 5 more days. My earnings and his universal credit goes on all the rent, bills, taxes, groceries and internet. I'm scared we are going to run out of drink, as I can't drink tap water it's disgusting and leaves a foul taste in my mouth, but it's so hot that we need to keep drinking and that is why we're rapidly running low on the drink we have got. I work and I get extremely thirsty at work and all there is is water if I don't bring my own drink, but water doesn't seem to clench my thirst.
I can't even work overtime to earn more money because the universal credit people can see everything I earn and if it changes they pay us less for that week so it's not worth it (it's hard to explain but if you're claiming universal credit and you're in a partnership you will know how hard it is).

My boyfriend won't go to food banks, I don't know why but he won't, he says we don't need to but I think we DO. We can't keep living on nothing 5 days a week. We just have no money, and this is why I'm dead against lockdown, I rather get ill with COVID than be homeless, and if I lose my job the landlords will chuck us out because apparently they are discriminate against unemployed people. I'd rather die than be homeless, homelessness TERRIFIES me because I need my security and words can't explain how frightened I feel about it.

If I tell my boyfriend how I'm feeling about it or suggest things like food banks he just bites my head off telling me I worry too much. I'm fed up with people telling me that. I'm having a meltdown as I'm writing this post so I don't need unempathetic people here being snarky or harsh with me, if you're one of those people then go away because right now I'm in a stressful position and my boyfriend is just turning away any help we could have.

I can't carry on living in poverty forever, life's so miserable right now. I might as well be dead.


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kraftiekortie
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19 Jul 2021, 8:02 am

I feel like he dislikes going to food banks because of "pride." He probably doesn't want people to see him at a food bank. It embarrasses him. I'm not justifying his feelings; I'm just trying to give an explanation for them.

I know how you feel----truly I do. I've been in the same position. It was a long time ago---before food banks were very organized in my neck of the woods. There were a few times where I had to go to a supermarket with food stamps. I felt the "pride" as well----but I did what I had to do.

Frankly, my advice is for you to make use of the food banks. Even over your boyfriend's objections.

I'm not saying that it would be easy for him to get a job in this environment. But I do believe it would benefit you both if he were out searching for a job sometimes. No expectation of success.....just making the attempt.



Juliette
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19 Jul 2021, 12:11 pm

So sorry to hear, Joe. I saw a tv programme about this very situation a week or so ago, and Food Banks are the answer. Once the lady in the programme got over the initial hurdle of going, it changed her life. She was a single parent of two children, and studying to become a paramedic and better her and her children’s future. Both the Food Bank and the community would help each other out at any time anyone was struggling. No-one should ever go hungry.

From what I know of your other half, he has health issues. I can’t help but think it would benefit both him and you hugely, if he were to find some part-time work. You’re under so much pressure to provide here, and life shouldn’t be this hard for you both.

I’ve just sent you a pm hoping I can help further.



AngelL
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19 Jul 2021, 12:34 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I can't carry on living in poverty forever, life's so miserable right now. I might as well be dead.


No, you can't carry on like this forever, but you can hang on for this moment. Please do. I agree with those who said to go to the food bank; you're a couple, but you're allowed to have different boundaries. He doesn't want to go to the food bank - he doesn't have to. You can still go.



Joe90
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19 Jul 2021, 4:12 pm

I would but you need to drive to get to the nearest food bank to me, and also I've never been in a food bank before so I won't know what I'm doing. So if he doesn't agree with the food bank idea then he's not going to drive me. He says we'll manage. I think he's ashamed, but there's nothing to be ashamed of. The pandemic has made us poor - which is why I don't agree with lockdowns.

I'm trying to find pound coins and other change like that on the buses that I clean at work (don't worry, it's not a crime to keep change like that, they say we can) just to put by to get drink if we're stuck. Also I've just started a diet so this might be a good opportunity for me to lose a bit of weight. We do have food that should last us for the next few days.

This is not a thread asking for money by the way. I wouldn't do that and personally I don't agree with asking strangers on the internet to send me money.
But thank you all for caring. :heart:


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IsabellaLinton
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19 Jul 2021, 4:29 pm

Hugs Joe.

Can one of your cousins, or your dad drive you to a food bank, or get you some drinks in the interim?

There's no shame in meeting your basic needs of food and sustenance / beverages. I agree with others who say it's OK for you and your boyfriend to have different opinions on the matter. You can get what you need and deserve, after all the hard work you do to pay the bills.



QuantumChemist
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19 Jul 2021, 5:25 pm

There is no shame going to a food bank if you need the food to get by. You might want to check into those programs to see if any can deliver to you. I have had to do that when I was unemployed for a year. My elderly mother gives out monthly government commodities to the poor as part of her job at a senior center. She qualifies for the same program based upon her income. If it was not for the food banks, many more tons of food would get wasted just sitting in storage. It is best to feed people than to just let it rot away.



kraftiekortie
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19 Jul 2021, 5:26 pm

I'm surprised. I'm surprised they don't have soup kitchens or something like that in urban churches.



Joe90
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19 Jul 2021, 5:51 pm

I don't feel ashamed. If it has to come to that then that's what I feel is the best thing to do. I've noticed my boyfriend is very short-tempered this week so it must be getting to him too, although he won't admit it when I ask. That's why I think food banks might lift some weight off his shoulders.

But we should feel lucky we have the NHS here in the UK and don't have to pay a bill to see a doctor.

But we've only got 3 days of no money. I don't get it, some weeks we have a little bit to ourselves yet another week we both have 0. I do feel glum though because I used to have loads of money that I saved up when I was living with my parents, now it's all gone ever since my boyfriend has been out of work. I can't see him finding another job, not now that the country's in recession and the government are still threatening more lockdown even though we have vaccines now and less people are becoming too ill or dying.


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QuantumChemist
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19 Jul 2021, 7:58 pm

Just an idea that popped into my head:

When I was much younger, I used to pick up aluminum cans and sell them for spending money. My parents wanted me to do this as exercise and a reason to get out of the house. I even found money along with the cans. It can be a pain to do, but might get you through till your next payday. I do not know if that would count towards your reported income.



Joe90
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19 Jul 2021, 8:03 pm

QuantumChemist wrote:
Just an idea that popped into my head:

When I was much younger, I used to pick up aluminum cans and sell them for spending money. My parents wanted me to do this as exercise and a reason to get out of the house. I even found money along with the cans. It can be a pain to do, but might get you through till your next payday. I do not know if that would count towards your reported income.


I don't know if cans are worth money where I come from. I could always look into it. It wouldn't affect my reported income, as it's only wages they can see, not anything else.


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Earthbound_Alien
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19 Jul 2021, 11:39 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Both me and my boyfriend have £0.00 in our banks and it's got to last us 5 more days.


Well arn't you both lucky...I have minus something in mine!

On the brightside, I have a fridge full of food to myself (don't ask, had an ex that was a pig and seemed to think no one else in the house needed to eat).

Food banks can be good in an emergency but some of the food they give you is far too processed and is dubious. Something is better than nothing though.



QuantumChemist
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20 Jul 2021, 7:49 am

Joe90 wrote:
QuantumChemist wrote:
Just an idea that popped into my head:

When I was much younger, I used to pick up aluminum cans and sell them for spending money. My parents wanted me to do this as exercise and a reason to get out of the house. I even found money along with the cans. It can be a pain to do, but might get you through till your next payday. I do not know if that would count towards your reported income.


I don't know if cans are worth money where I come from. I could always look into it. It wouldn't affect my reported income, as it's only wages they can see, not anything else.


In the US, there are areas that charge a deposit on each aluminum can or glass bottle. Usually it is around five cents to ten cents each. Whoever takes them into a recycling center gets paid the deposit. They do it to keep people from throwing recyclables in the trash. Unfortunately I did not live in those areas, so I would get about a cent per can. The price paid there was based upon the aluminum market that day. The most I was paid was three cents a can once. The whole trash bag of crushed cans netted me about $15 that day back in the 1980s. I used the money to buy fireworks, so my efforts literally went up in smoke.



kraftiekortie
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20 Jul 2021, 7:54 am

It's 5 cents in NYC.

I never heard of this sort of thing in the UK.



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20 Jul 2021, 11:47 am

Is there something contaminating tap water where you live that makes it undrinkable? :? Or do you just have a sweet tooth and insist on drinking sugary flavoured drinks? Can the tap water be made drinkable by boiling and/or filtering it? It seems that would make you both healthier and wealthier.

Are there not any cash jobs where you live? Countless people in Canada and the USA that are on some form of disability or government benefits payments do odd jobs to make ends meet. Some are allowed to earn some money on the books, others are not. There are a lot of can collectors at the beach.. a full garbage bag is worth about $40 and people carry two at a time, sometimes more. Then there are odd jobs and cash gigs posted on craigslist or facebook groups. They could range from pulling weeds or cutting lawns to demolition or general labour or running errands or helping people move etc. There's almost always some sort of off the books opportunity for people to do Something to make a few extra dollars. Perhaps your boyfriend should look into these types of websites or groups to find local gigs that pay cash.

Besides websites, are there community centres where people might post jobs on a physical bulletin board? Or trucks driving around with hiring signs on them? Church groups or pubs connecting people with jobs?

What sort of work did he do before? Is it likely to pick up again? Are there areas of the economy that are recovering faster than others? If there's an in demand job and his isn't likely to come back for months or years, maybe he needs to consider a change and trying his hand at doing something else - whatever comes along first.

As for food, if you're at a point where you're without money for food 3-5 days a week, then absolutely that's a time of life when it's a-okay to accept food from a food bank. I know it's very difficult to swallow one's pride and do it, but your boyfriend might be able to find peace with it if he makes himself a deal and promises to tally every bit of food he accepts and then ensures that once he's back on his feet again that he donates at least that amount right back - double it if he wants to be twice as helpful to others as others were to him!

Alternatively, you could always accept food from the food bank and lie to him about where it came from. You could tell him a friend gave it to you, or a friend gave you some money and you found some great sales at a market or whatever if that's easier for him to accept than the food bank.


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QuantumChemist
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20 Jul 2021, 8:03 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Is there something contaminating tap water where you live that makes it undrinkable? :? Or do you just have a sweet tooth and insist on drinking sugary flavoured drinks? Can the tap water be made drinkable by boiling and/or filtering it? It seems that would make you both healthier and wealthier.


I have an idea on the tap water issue. When you do have a little extra money, look in thrift shops for a water purifier that has filters. Here in the US, I have found them as cheap as a two dollars with brand new filters. It can greatly improve the taste of the tap water. There are ways to make your own version on the cheap if you have access to some coffee filters and some plain charcoal powder (not treated with flammable starting fluid). Initially the water coming out will be black, but will clear up with time as the filter is used.

If you seek flavors, there are places that sell flavoring packets to add to water. They will not have the carbonation or sugar of sodas, so they are a healthier choice to use. I can find them for about one dollar in the US and they are good for five bottles worth of water. You might find them cheaper over there with luck. I have had to live cheaply over the years, leading me to become inventive at certain solutions.